Results the Same But it Took 15 Innings

Thomas Paine said it some 230 years ago, "These are the times that try men's soul … yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph." He was talking about a game much more important that the N.L. West battle, but the sentiments seem as appropriate as if he had watched last night's game in Arizona.

A walk-off home run by Orlando Hudson with two outs in the 15th inning gave Arizona a 9-7 win over the Dodgers on Friday night in a five-hour, six-minute battle that saw the Diamondbacks use eight pitchers and Los Angeles seven.

Only a win by Colorado over San Diego kept the Dodgers lead-leading margin from disappearing entirely. Arizona moved to three behind and the Giants, after winning four of five, are only 3 1/2 out.

The two clubs left 32 men on base, 21 of them wearing an snake on the front of their uniform, as Dodgers leads of 2-1, 4-3, 6-3 and 7-6 (in the 11th) slipped away as were their hopes of a two-game bulge over the Padres.

The Dodgers' offense came up with a scarce commodity, three home runs, but did little else over the 15 inning marathon. They scored only one run over the final 11 innings, while the bullpen could not convert two save opportunities.

The Dodgers lost their fourth straight, their first game in which Greg Maddux started and Maddux, who got a no decision, inexplicably slipped 1-9 lifetime against the Diamondbacks. He allowed four runs, two earned, on 10 hits in five innings.

Had it not been for spectacular defensive plays by shortstop Rafael Furcal the Dodgers would have lost in nine innings. Playing deep, he scooped up a sizzling grounder in the fifth inning and nailed an Arizona runner at the plate.

J.D. Drew slugged a pair (13 & 14) out of the park, singled in the go-ahead run with two outs in the 11th inning to put the Dodgers up 7-6 and almost collected a third home run with a shot that descended just short of the left field wall in the 14th.

Drew's homers, both with two outs, and Russell Martin's two-run blast, helped the Dodgers take a 6-3 lead after four innings, but the Diamondbacks rallied to tie it with single runs in the fifth, sixth and eighth and when Jonathan Broxton couldn't hold a 6-5 lead, it denied Maddux his 330th career victory.

Maddux, demonstrating that he was human, struggled through five innings, giving up 10 hits while throwing 76 pitches. He left with a 6-4 lead that could have been 6-2.

Los Angeles had a golden chance in the 11th when Rafael Furcal led off with a single, then stole his 31st base of the and scored when Drew singled to right, his fourth RBI of the game.

But the Diamondbacks tied it with their third unearned run of the game in their half of the 11th as Takashi Saito blew a save for only the second time in 16 chances.

Saito gave up a walk to the leadoff man and first baseman Nomar Garciaparra fumbled third baseman Wilson Betemit's throw on a sacrifice bunt for an error and a long fly by Carlos Quentin tie the game at seven.

Arizona put their leadoff man on base in four consecutive innings from the 10th through the 13th and loaded the bases with one out in the 13th and 14th, but Aaron Sele (7-5) worked out of the mess tdhree times.

Only one of the Dodgers' final 14 batters reached base, when Martin lined two-out single in the 15th.

Sele walked reliever Brandon Lyon making his first major league plate appearance with one out in the 15th. Then, in his fourth innings of relief, the seldom-used Sele, on a 3-2 count, served up the game-winning home run.

If the Dodgers end up watching post season play on television (perish the thought), this game will be one that they'll remember.
  Score by innings
Dodgers 202 200 000 001 000-7
Arizona 120 011 010 010 002-9

  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS      6 2 2 0 .285
Lofton, CF      4 0 2 0 .316
 Broxton, P     0 0 0 0 .000
 Dessens, P     0 0 0 0 .000
 Lugo, PH-2B    2 0 0 0 .299
Garciaparra, 1B 7 1 1 1 .321
Drew, RF        7 2 3 4 .277
Kent, 2B        6 0 2 0 .267
 Saito, P       0 0 0 0 .000
 Sele, P        1 0 0 0 .200
Ethier, LF      7 0 1 0 .333
Betemit, 3B     7 1 1 0 .269
Martin, C       7 1 2 2 .286
Maddux, P       2 0 0 0 .113
 Martinez, PH   1 0 0 0 .290
 Carrara, P     0 0 0 0 .000
 Tomko, P       0 0 0 0 .120
 Saenz, PH      0 0 0 0 .296
 Repko, PR-CF   3 0 0 0 .255
   Totals      60 7 14 7
   Arizona     58 9 20 8

  Error- Betemit, Garciaparra. 
2B- Kent (18), Lofton (12). 3B- 
Furcal (6, Vargas). HR- Drew 2 
(14), Martin (7). RBI- Garciaparra 
(67), Drew 4 (76), Martin 2 
(49). LOB- Los Angeles 11, Arizona 21. 
SB- Furcal (31). DP- 2 (Kent, Furcal 
and Garciaparra; Lugo, Furcal and 
  Dodgers   in h r-er bb so era
Maddux      5.0 10 4-2 2 0 4.25
Carrara     0.2  2 1-1 1 0 5.04
Tomko       1.1  0 0-0 0 2 4.55
Broxton     1.0  1 1-1 2 1 2.78
Dessens     2.0  1 0-0 1 2 4.11
Saito       1.0  0 1-0 1 1 2.20
Sele (7-5)  3.2  6 2-2 3 2 4.10
  WP-Broxton. T-5:06. Att-26,276.
Hawaii League-- The Dodgers will place six of their prospects and a coach on the North Shore team of the rejuvenated of the Hawaii Winter Baseball League which returns after a nine-year lapse. The Dodgers will play in the East Division and the roster includes infielders Cory Dunlap and Blake DeWitt; catcher Tony Harper; outfielder Xavier Paul; right-handed pitcher Zach Hammes; left-handed pitcher Wesley Wright and pitching coach Glenn Dishman.

Dodger Blue Notes-- The Dodgers are waiting for the next shoe to drop following the 15 minute rhubarb in San Diego after which infielder Julio Lugo and pitcher Brad Penny were ejected. Manager Grady Little also was booted with Penny by plate umpire Rick Reed. Little said that while does expect fines to be handed down, he could see no reason to expect suspensions. …Russell Martin entered Friday night's game at Arizona in a 1-for-21 slump with seven strikeouts and slugged a two-run home run (#7), and a single in seven trips. ... Maddux failed to strike out a batter in his shortest outing since June 4 against St. Louis. ... The Dodgers are 1-7 in extra-inning games this season, Arizona 6-4. …The Dodgers turn to Derek Lowe (11-8, 3.84 ERA) to stop their freefall tonight.

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